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Experts reject ban on dangerous dogs

Banning "dangerous" breeds of dogs is not a solution according to the experts Keystone

A working group on dangerous dogs, set up after a series of attacks last year, has rejected the idea of banning certain breeds or making it obligatory for owners to use a leash as effective ways of tackling the problem.

The group, led by the Federal Veterinary Office, said a ban on certain types of dogs could not be justified either legally or scientifically.

It said a general obligation to keep dogs on a leash was not enforceable and could even make certain dogs more aggressive.

Instead the justice and police officials and vets on the working group have recommended maintaining lists of all dogs and their owners. They said this would make it possible to trace a dog’s history in case of an attack.

At the same time it called on the Swiss cantons, which have responsibility for all measures regarding the protection of individuals, to create a common mechanism for taking action against dogs suspected to be dangerous.

The group said that in order to be effective, the cantons needed to harmonise their practices and work closely together in enforcing them.

The Federal Veterinary Office is asking for responses to the proposals from all parties concerned by the end of February, after which it will draft a new law for consideration by the cabinet and parliament.

A new law is already in the pipeline to make it obligatory for all dogs to be equipped with a microchip and registered nationally. The change is backed by animal rights groups and is intended to make it easier to monitor and fight animal diseases.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR